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5 NFL superstars who were drafted by a team in a different sport

NFL players are collectively some of the best athletes in the entire world. While they ultimately all chose football as their profession, many of them could have gone pro in a different sport if they wanted to.


Throughout history, baseball seems to have been a popular alternative sport for football players. The strong arms that quarterbacks develop make them valuable additions to any baseball team.


Several superstar players currently playing in the NFL have previously been drafted to a professional team in a different sport and here are five of them.

Jameis Winston, Image Credit: Business Insider

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#5 - Jameis Winston


Jameis Winston was an outstanding two-sport athlete during his high school athletics career, playing both football and baseball on a nationally recognized level. Despite being ranked the top quarterback prospect in the entire country while in high school, he was also selected by the Texas Rangers in the 2012 MLB Draft as an outfielder and pitcher.

Jameis Winston aka QB1, was a beast at baseball too @Jaboowins


Winston instead decided to attend Florida State for his college career, where he played both baseball and football. He could have chosen at any point to begin his professional baseball career with the Rangers, but kept his goal of being a professional quarterback.


He was eventually selected as the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Oakland Athletics Kyler Murray batting practice

#4 - Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray is considered one of the highest rated two-sport prospects of all time. He was a superstar at the University of Oklahoma in two different sports, showing a ton of potential in both baseball and football. He eventually became the only athlete in sports history to be selected in the first round of both the MLB Draft as well as the NFL Draft.

Murray seriously considered attempting to play both sports professionally and almost attended training camp for the Oakland Athletics, but withdrew right before it officially started. He ultimately chose the NFL, but has often stated that baseball is still a realistic option for him at some point.

NFL stars who were drafted by a different professional sports team

Patrick Mahomes, Image Credit: The Sporting News

#3 - Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes was both a top pitching prospect in baseball as well as a quarterback prospect while attending high school. Many scouts believed he would follow in his father's footsteps and pursue a professional baseball career, especially when he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers while still in high school.

From the Little League World Series to the Super Bowl, @PatrickMahomes does it all!

(via @LittleLeague)

Mahomes declined to join the Tigers and instead chose to attend Texas Tech. He initially joined both the baseball and football teams, but pitched just one baseball game before leaving the team to fully commit his focus to being the best quarterback possible. It worked out well for him as he eventually signed the largest contract in NFL history.

Texas Rangers infielder Russell Wilson

#2 - Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson was an infielder in high school with elite defense and offensive upside, according to professional scouts. He decided to attend NC State University, where he excelled in baseball and was eventually selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 2010 MLB Draft. He played for two years in their minor league system before eventually landing with the New York Yankees.

The Yankees still owned Wilson's rights if he ever decided he wanted to return to professional baseball. Instead, he wanted to be a quarterback in the NFL, which is why he transferred to Wisconsin University to receive more playing time.

He was chosen in the fourth round as a speculative quarterback prospect, but ended up earning himself the starting job with the Seattle Seahawks as a rookie and never looked back.

Tom Brady throwing out the first pitch.

#1 - Tom Brady

While Tom Brady has always wanted to be a quarterback in the NFL, he was once a highly rated baseball prospect. He played catcher at an elite level while attending high school where he received national recognition. He was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 1995 MLB Draft, but instead chose to attend the University of Michigan.

Oh how things could have been so different had Tom Brady decided on baseball Montreal drafted him in the 18th round back in 1995. His baseball card is selling for $10. Brady’s rookie football card sold for $3.1 million. @TomBrady

While in college, Brady focused all of his attention on football while pursuing a career as a quarterback, despite many scouts believing he was better suited for baseball.

Those scouts, as well as numerous NFL scouts, couldn't have been more wrong despite how Brady fell all the way to the sixth round of the draft. The quarterback was selected by a Patriots team in need of a backup to Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe famously got injured during the 2001 NFL season, and the rest was history.

Edited by
Nicolaas Ackermann
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